Is it possible to have a perfect childhood? Maybe. I’ve certainly met lots of people who have claimed it. Some of these folks became good friends of mine. But, with further exploration, they discovered that they had unconsiously dry cleaned the not so perfect parts of their history so they could be seen as “normal”.
No matter what environment we were born into, poor, wealthy or middle-class, whether we had no parents, one parent, two parents or the entire community involved in guiding us towards what they believed would be a better life, somewhere along the way, in those early years, most of us ended up adopting a lie that somehow our life wasn’t completely our own. We owed somebody for who we were, what we had over other children, and how lucky we were to be born to the parents we had.
For years, I believed I had a great childhood. I have wonderful memories travelling with family through the United States and Canada in an RV. It was so much fun.
In my twenties, people described me as a happy, bright, well adjusted, and an open book. I think I was these things…and much more. Like most folks, I presented my best self to the world. Is it possible to experience heaven without acknowledging the existence of hell?
Renuka’s Secret Confession
Renuka: Have you ever felt the need to just run away from everybody, maybe somewhere no one could hear you, and just cry at the top of your lungs, for no apparent reason? I have had these feelings on and off for as long as I can remember.
Last week I felt like this again for several days. I couldn’t sleep or shut off my leaky eyes. My body felt drained, and and at times, I had difficulty formulating coherent sentences. The trigger was being in a room full of extremely courageous men and women.
You might be asking, why would being with courageous people make me feel like shit? Shouldn’t I be inspired and motivated? Let me share with you how they did that too.
A courageous person confessed about having an exciting childhood dream of making a massive positive impact on humanity. When she shared that dream with the most influential person in her life, her father, he quickly extinguished her confidence with discouraging words resembling, “don’t be a silly girl, you can’t change the world”. She believed him and went on to doubt herself and her worth.
Another courageous person confessed to not knowing who she really is. Despite her vast education, skills, travels, and confident personality, she locked away her history so tightly that even she couldn’t access it if only to simply acknowledge who she may have been.
Another courageous person confessed to being showered with love, parents who set aside their own needs so he could have every available opportunity. Motivated by guilt, he did what he believed they wanted, denying his own choices. Several decades of repression had taken it’s toll on a boy who had no right to voice his needs and independance over his parent’s sacrifice.
Another courageous person confessed to faulting her body for almost two decades for not being able to house the babies she would never get to kiss.
Another courageous person confessed to being born to parents who were deeply committed to the cultural conditioning that boys were superior and cherished over girls. She continued to hand down this disempowering tradition to her own daughter before facing the impact it has had on her life so far.
Yet another courageous person confessed to having a father who was overflowing with rage and the only way he knew how to release some of that rage was to that rage on all of his children physically, mentally, and emotionally. Fifteen children suffered under his house of horror.
Finally, another courageous person confessed to being betrayed over and over by a woman she needed most, her mother. The little girl who needed love, protection and safety instead was used as bait to get her mother attention and importance.
They all had one thing in common with me. Through very different circumstances, we ceased to exist as individuals and ended up either being abandoned or had to abandon ourselves in order to belong in the environment that supported our survival. The seeds of self doubt for emotional orphans are planted at a very young age.
The raw vulnerability of these men and women allowed me to see glimpses of myself in them. Their courage gifted me with deeper levels of compassion for myself, for others, and for these amazing men and women. I wept for them. I wept for me. In the end, I was left in awe, flooded with gratitude to have witnessed the breaking through their shells that encloses understanding. I am inspired to step up to a higher level of purpose and step out to a greater commitment of service.
Reporting confessions one blog post at a time,